Why You Need Sunlight
Sunlight is a really important aspect for living a healthy lifestyle.
It's important to make sure that you spend at least 10-30 minutes in direct sunlight to ensure that you are receiving all the benefits.
Although sun can get a bad rep, because of the possible skin issues the rays can cause, there are many benefits as well that prove we do, in fact, need sunlight every. single. day.
Why We Need Sunlight
1. It Makes You Happier
Have you ever noticed that you're more moody and irritable in the winter compared to the summer? It's because there is less sunlight during that time.
Sunlight releases the happy hormone in your body: Serotonin. Serotonin is known to help decrease stress and depression.
2. Promotes Better Sleep
Sunlight also promotes a better quality of sleep. The serotonin released when in the sun works together with melatonin, the chemical in your brain that helps you to wind down and sleep easier.
3. Provides Vitamin D
The sun also provides your body with Vitamin D - a vitamin that the body can't produce on its own and is very rare in food sources. Vitamin D promotes healthy cell growth and reduced inflammation in the body.
4. Makes your bones stronger
This benefit goes hand in hand with Vitamin D. This super vitamin promotes healthy bones and stronger teeth. Vitamin D works together with calcium to ensure that it is being fully absorbed in the body. Therefore, sun is an essential part for having strong bones and lowering the risk of osteoporosis in the long run.
5. Strengthens The Immune System
The Vitamin D that the sun helps the body produce is extremely important in strengthening the immune system. A healthy immune system can reduce the risk of illness, disease, and infections throughout the body. Sunlight can also help quicken the healing process after a surgery.
6. Helps You Live Longer
A study conducted on 28,518 Swedish women found that those who had active, daily sun exposure lived 6 months, to a year longer than those who didn't. They also found that sun exposure habits were related to a decrease in heart disease and noncancer/non-heart disease deaths.
Based off of these six different benefits, it's clear that sunlight is an essential part of our everyday life. We need it for the sake of our serotonin levels, sleep, strong bones, and health in general.
There are ways in which you can easily tell if you are lacking an adequate amount of sunlight and Vitamin D. Here they are:
How You Know if You Need Vitamin D From Sunlight
1. Getting Sick often
2. Muscle Pain
3. Hair Loss
4. Fatigue and Tiredness
5. Bone and Back Pain
6. Depression and Stress
7. Impaired Wound Healing
8. Bone Loss
Try to make it a goal to get an adequate amount of sunlight everyday and watch how much it benefits you.
Here are some easy ways to get the proper amount of sunlight each day:
Ways to Increase Your Sun Exposure
- Expose as much bare skin (without sunscreen) to direct sunlight as possible, but avoid getting burned. Limit exposure to 10-30 minutes at a time if you are prone to burning.
- Open the blinds in the morning and stand in front of the window for 10 minutes.
- Take a walk in the morning, preferably between 8am to 12pm.
- Take a book outside and read.
- For college students: do homework outside if it's nice!
- Move your workouts outside.
Make sure that you get outside everyday for the sake of your mental and physical health.
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